Fight fire with fire. The fire of lust’s pleasures must be fought with the fire of God’s pleasures. If we try to fight the fire of lust with prohibitions and threats alone—even the terrible warnings of Jesus—we will fail. We must fight it with a massive promise of superior happiness.
We must swallow up the little flicker of lust’s pleasures in the conflagration of holy satisfaction. When we “make a covenant with our eyes,” like Job did (Job 31:1), our aim is not merely to avoid something erotic, but also to gain something excellent.
~ JOHN PIPER, Future Grace
My Daddy is better. He is stronger. He is richer. He is smarter. Why don’t I say these things more often when Satan is trying to tempt me with his puny little enticements, like...the temporary pleasure of complaining instead of the long-term pleasure of contentment...the temporary overindulgence of food instead of the permanent satisfaction in God’s plenty...the temporary gratification of a vengeful tongue instead of the lasting restitution of God’s justification. Oh, for clearer vision of who God is and what He offers me!
Indeed, if we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.
~ C. S. LEWIS
The men of this world are children. Offer a child an apple or a bank note, and he will doubtless choose the apple.
~ JOHN NEWTON